Marc Lescarbot

Besides being a vivid account of early colonizing attempts in Acadia, the Histoire is a remarkable plea for realism in harvesting the colony's natural resources, as against a futile search for quick profits.

Port-Royal
Port-Royal, Nova Scotia, established by Champlain in 1605, was the centre of Acadian life. This reconstruction is a national historic park (photo by Bill Brooks/Masterfile).
Théâtre de Neptune
First play in Canada, 1606, imaginary reconstruction by C.W. Jeffreys, pen and black ink over pencil on cardboard (National Archives of Canada/C-106968).

Lescarbot, Marc

Marc Lescarbot, lawyer, author (b at Vervins, France c 1570; d in France 1642). A Paris lawyer, Lescarbot sailed for Acadia in May 1606 at the invitation of one of his clients, colonizer Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt. He remained there until the summer of 1607, when the colony was abandoned after the revocation of its trading monopoly. Based at Port-Royal, Lescarbot travelled widely in Acadia and took a keen interest in the problems and opportunities of North American colonization as well as the way of life of the region's native peoples. His insights were set down in several published works, most notably his Histoire de la Nouvelle-France (1609).

Besides being a vivid account of early colonizing attempts in Acadia, the Histoire is a remarkable plea for realism in harvesting the colony's natural resources, as against a futile search for quick profits. Also a poet and playwright, Lescarbot presented his Théâtre de Neptune at Port-Royal in 1606, reputedly the first theatrical production in North America. After returning to France in 1607, Lescarbot resumed his law practice, but his interest in the progress of Acadian colonization was lifelong.


Further Reading

  • Marc Lescarbot, The History of New France, ed W.L. Grant (1907-14); John G. Reid, Acadia, Maine, and New Scotland (1981).